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E.g., 12/19/2018
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  • Year in Review

    E-cigarettes caught fire among teens

    On November 15, Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, announced new sales restrictions on certain e-cigarette flavors preferred by teens. The move was a response to a worrying rise in vaping among adolescents in the last year. “E-cigs have become an almost ubiquitous and dangerous trend among teens,” he warned, calling it an “epidemic” in a September...
    12/19/2018 - 06:00 Health
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    12/18/2018 - 13:25
  • Science Visualized

    Erosion has erased most of Earth’s impact craters. Here are the survivors

    When it comes to impact craters, Earth is the pauper of the solar system.

    Even with a recent, still-to-be-confirmed crater discovery under Greenland’s ice, there are fewer than 200 known impact craters on the planet. Mars, for comparison, has hundreds of thousands.

    Produced by falling space rocks, most impact craters on Earth have been wiped away over time by wind, rain, shifting...

    12/18/2018 - 06:00 Earth
  • Feature

    Top 10 stories of 2018: Climate change, gene-edited babies, hidden craters and more

    In 2018, we saw just how much power science has to make a real impact. 

    Science News’ top stories of the year include a literal impact — the hidden contours of what appears to be a massive crater created when a meteorite slammed into Greenland long ago. That discovery ranks among our Top 10 partly because it’s just cool, but also because it raises the tantalizing prospect of solving a...

    12/17/2018 - 08:36 Science & Society
  • Year in Review

    Half a degree stole the climate spotlight in 2018

    The grim reality of climate change grabbed center stage in 2018.

    This is the year we learned that the 2015 Paris Agreement on global warming won’t be enough to forestall significant impacts of climate change. And a new field of research explicitly attributed some extreme weather events to human-caused climate change. This one-two punch made it clear that climate change isn’t just...

    12/17/2018 - 08:36 Climate, Science & Society
  • Year in Review

    News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm

    A Chinese scientist surprised the world in late November by claiming he had created the first gene-edited babies, who at the time of the announcement were a few weeks old. Scientists and ethicists quickly responded with outrage.

    In an interview with the Associated Press and in a video posted November 25, Jiankui He announced that twin girls with a gene altered to reduce the risk of...

    12/17/2018 - 08:34 Genetics, Science & Society
  • Year in Review

    Crime solvers embraced genetic genealogy

    Every week, Ellen Greytak checks DNA profiles in a genealogy database. She’s not searching for long-lost relatives. She’s out to find family members of unknown assailants in rape and murder cases.

    Greytak is director of bioinformatics at Parabon NanoLabs in Reston, Va. Since May, the company has used genetic genealogy, a forensic technique for tracking down suspects through their...

    12/17/2018 - 08:32 Genetics, Science & Society
  • Year in Review

    Neutrino discovery launched a new type of astronomy

    Mysterious particles called neutrinos constantly barrel down on Earth from space. No one has known where, exactly, the highest-energy neutrinos come from. This year, scientists finally put a finger on one likely source: a brilliant cosmic beacon called a blazar. The discovery could kick-start a new field of astronomy that combines information gleaned from neutrinos and light.

    It...

    12/17/2018 - 08:29 Particle Physics, Astronomy
  • Year in Review

    Greenland crater renewed the debate over an ancient climate mystery

    For three years, a team of scientists kept a big secret: They had discovered a giant crater-shaped depression buried beneath about a kilometer of ice in northwestern Greenland. In November, the researchers revealed their find to the world.

    They hadn’t set out to find a crater. But in 2015, glaciologists studying ice-penetrating radar images of Greenland’s ice sheet, part of an...

    12/17/2018 - 08:27 Earth, Climate, Paleontology
  • Year in Review

    Humans wiped out mosquitoes (in one small lab test)

    For the first time, humans have built a set of pushy, destructive genes that infiltrated small populations of mosquitoes and drove them to extinction.

    But before dancing sleeveless in the streets, let’s be clear. This extermination occurred in a lab in mosquito populations with less of the crazy genetic diversity that an extinction scheme would face in the wild. The new gene drive,...

    12/17/2018 - 08:26 Animals, Genetics, Health